Book Tour Review: Aunty Lee's Delights by Ovidia Yu

Thursday, September 26, 2013
Title: Aunty Lee's Delights
Author: Ovidia Yu
Genre: mystery
Series: N/A
Pages: 260 (paperback)
Published: September 17 2013
Source: TLC Book Tours for review
Rating: 3/5

This delectable and witty mystery introduces Rosie "Aunty" Lee, feisty widow, amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore's best-loved home cooking restaurant.

After losing her husband, Rosie Lee could easily have become one of Singapore's "tai tai," an idle rich lady devoted to mah-jongg and luxury shopping. Instead she threw herself into building a culinary empire from her restaurant, Aunty Lee's Delights, where spicy Singaporean home cooking is graciously served to locals and tourists alike. But when a body is found in one of Singapore's beautiful tourist havens, and when one of her wealthy guests fails to show at a dinner party, Aunty Lee knows that the two are likely connected.

The murder and disappearance throws together Aunty Lee's henpecked stepson Mark, his social-climbing wife Selina, a gay couple whose love is still illegal in Singapore, and an elderly Australian tourist couple whose visit-billed at first as a pleasure cruise-may mask a deeper purpose. Investigating the murder is rookie Police Commissioner Raja, who quickly discovers that the savvy and well-connected Aunty Lee can track down clues even better than local law enforcement.

Wise, witty and unusually charming, Aunty Lee's Delights is a spicy mystery about love, friendship and home cooking in Singapore, where money flows freely and people of many religions and ethnicities co-exist peacefully, but where tensions lurk just below the surface, sometimes with deadly results.

Aunty Lee's Delights made for a quick, amusing, clever read. It's a shorter novel, but Ovidia Yu more than makes use of those 260ish pages to create some memorable characters and a well-orchestrated murder mystery. It also made me really hungry for the food featured. It entertained me as clever Aunty Lee pieced together the mystery of the deaths of two women on Sentosa, in Singapore.

There are a plethora of suspects to be had in Aunty Lee's Delights. The author is smart to spread suspicion and uncertainty amongst the cast and for the majority of the book it's hard to pin down the culprit. They are an interesting bunch: from Aunty's somewhat-oblivious stepson Mark, his avaricious and jealous wife Selina, the Australian couple with a secret, the older but newer Singaporean resident Harry, a sometime employee of Mark and his wife, a newly arrived guest who is hiding something and not to mention Aunty herself and her servant Nina.

Anuty Lee proves herself a force to be reckoned with in Singapore -- and not just in the kitchen. With her connections and whipsmart intelligence, Anuty finds herself piecing the puzzle ahead of the official investigators. She's a nosy, friendly busybody but one who find herself to be a rather useful cog as the police scramble to uncover the murderer in the midst of a wine and dine party. She is the most interesting character in Aunty Lee's Delights and her various actions help propel the plot and to keep the clues coming in.

The possible first in a series, Yu provides a lot to like here. The writing is crisp and easy, the characters are well-formed and well-drawn, and the mystery is nicely constructed with a small pool of suspects to investigate. Aunty Lee's Delights is a fun mishmash of food and culture, murder and mystery.

Ovidia’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, September 17th: Olduvai Reads

Wednesday, September 18th: Lavish Bookshelf

Thursday, September 19th: Wordsmithonia

Monday, September 23rd: Helen’s Book Blog

Tuesday, September 24th: guiltless reading

Wednesday, September 25th: Bibliophilia, Please!

Thursday, September 26th: Ageless Pages Reviews

Tuesday, October 1st: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Wednesday, October 2nd: Kahakai Kitchen

Monday, October 7th: A Chick Who Reads


  1. It's interesting that the book managed to feature memorable characters while spreading the suspicion and uncertainty among the cast. I read a book recently that was trying to do the same since it's a huge series, but I admit that I didn't find the characters quite as compelling for that reason. It's especially remarkable that you got that impression from 260ish pages (the book I read was nearly 500!). ALSO I love when books feature food o.O. (I just came from commenting on your other post, so this is now reminding me again of how brilliant Gillian's Baking the Books feature is).

    I find it kind of funny that this book is a part of a series called Singaporean mysteries and that the character is Aunty Lee. She sounds like a great character though and you and I are protagonist buds. (Nah, I need to think of another nickname. Got one in mind?). It seems like a problem to me when the protagonist is NOT the most important character in the book or the one propelling the plot.

    Mishmash of food and culture - does it really explore Singaporean culture in the 260 pages or is that a side aspect? Yay for a fun murder mystery!

  2. I'm glad to see that you enjoyed this one! Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2015 Ageless Pages Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Amelia Theme by The Lovely Design CO and These Paper Hearts.